How I wrote my Personal Statement

Before I started writing my personal statement, I knew I had to do some serious research on my chosen pathway. Understanding what I was aiming for and what universities were looking for in their students was crucial.

What to write about…

I began by deciding on my future career and identifying the attributes that universities value in their students. These attributes included:

  • Strong academic achievement or potential
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Motivation and commitment
  • Ability to learn from mistakes or failures
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Strong communication skills and teamwork ability
  • Sense of community responsibility
  • Curiosity and dedication to lifelong learning
  • Sensitivity and openness to diversity

Next, I needed to reflect on why I wanted to study my chosen course. What about the subject fascinated me? How did my current and previous studies relate to this course? I also considered any relevant work experience, placements, or volunteering that made me a strong candidate. Highlighting my interests outside of school, such as hobbies, extracurricular activities, and additional responsibilities, helped demonstrate the skills and qualities these experiences had given me. Importantly, I needed to explain how studying this course would support my future plans.

How to write it…

Once I had all this information, it was time to structure my statement. Here’s the approach I took:

1. Introduction: I introduced myself and provided a glimpse into my motivations.

2. Key Points: I discussed my academic background, relevant experiences, and personal qualities.

3. Conclusion: I wrapped up by summarising my passion for the course and my future aspirations.

I made sure to use formal English, check my grammar, spelling, and punctuation meticulously, and avoid procrastination to ensure no important details were left out.

Personal Statement Dos and Don’ts

I found it helpful to keep in mind some dos and don’ts:


– Showed I knew my strengths.

– Outlined my ideas clearly.

– Expressed enthusiasm for the course.

– Expected to produce several drafts before being totally happy with it.

– Asked trusted people, like tutors and counselors, for feedback.

– Proofread as many times as possible.


– I didn’t buy or copy a personal statement, nor did I share mine.

– Avoided exaggerating my achievements.

– Didn’t leave it to the last minute.

– Ensured spelling and grammatical errors didn’t spoil my statement by thoroughly checking it beyond just using a spellchecker.

Next Steps

After completing several drafts and receiving feedback, I felt confident in my personal statement. This process was incredibly insightful and helped me clearly articulate my goals and motivations. If you’re in the process of writing your personal statement, remember to give yourself enough time, be honest, and let your passion for your chosen course shine through.

Written by an Illuminare Medical Foundation Student 2023

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